Inspired by Bjork's I've Seen it All and hot water.

Dedicated to Ruaki and her love of Forte.

Any colored text is a flashback ... different colors just so you can tell one set from another.


The soft snick of automatic doors unlocking and the thwup-thwup of padded robot feet against steel floors followed him into the elevator. A swish as the doors irised shut and he began his descent into the lower levels of the lab. His gaze slid down the reflection of himself in the glass wall, passing over cold eyes and smirking lips, down black and gold painted armor to the thick clumpers of his feet. Forte flexed them, imagining toes wiggling about inside as hydraulics hissed.

Toes wiggled even after death he was amused to discover, bloody digits twitching and bending for long moments once the foot was detached from the leg. The owner would usually scream, begging pitifully for his life as Forte raised his blaster to end it. Even with their stealthier bodies and silent walk, humans were weak, easy prey for a robot whose strength was the equal to their stealth and whose body was immune to their pathetic weapons.

Smiling at himself in the glass, Forte realized that logically, a human had designed him, created him, and given him life. But it is the nature of creation to rise up and eclipse their creators, to exterminate them to make way for the new race, replacing the old with the new. Humans has risen against their own god, annihilating him in a flurry of disbelief. Now, bots would rise against humans, killing them like vermin to make way for themselves. Perhaps, centuries from now, a bot would raise a garden of cabbages, which would revolt and destroy the robots, making way for a new era of cabbage-dom. Possibly, even farther into the future, the cabbages would fall to the ladybugs, and the ladybugs to god, bringing the circle around again. Maybe god will learn from his mistakes and just make us first.

The elevator slowed to a halt, doors irising open to reveal the dark interior of the old geezer's lab. Forte stepped from the elevator, viewing the room in shades of crimson as he walked the distance to the examination table, looking down at the reploid who laid upon it. Reaching up, he switched on the light, bathing the table in an island of gold.

It was red. What? Did the old geezer not want human blood to show up on his pretty new machine? Or was he copying that prick's coloring? If that old fogy, in his squicky little wet dreams of topping his rival, thought that Forte was too far gone to realize just what he was up to, then the coot deserved what was coming to him.

He had made him flawed after all, imperfect. And Forte craved perfection. Did they think he was stupid? Na´ve? Obsessed beyond caring? Fanatical? Insane? A smile slid across his face as he stroked the golden hair, wrapping a strand around his fingers. Perhaps he was insane. Perhaps he had tripped off the side into the deep end ... all thanks to that little blueberry bastard who was sooooo perfect, complete and adored like he wasn't. He hated him.

He wanted him to die.

Forte would use that view against them, let them think he was stupid, holding up the fašade of insanity that was more than a fašade and screw all of them over. His creator, his rival, the humans ... all of them once and for all.

Dropping the lock of hair with something almost like regret, the black bot turned, eyes following the array of machinery until he found what he was looking for. Good thing I clocked the old coot before I left, he thought, unraveling a set of wires. One blow to the back of Wiley's head had been enough to keep him otherwise occupied for the rest of the night. Kicking the computer chair over would assure that when he woke up he would think he had fallen and knocked himself out in the middle of an online make-out session with his favorite rival.

Smirking, Forte turned back to the table, removing the reploid's red helmet and carefully opening a panel under all that long, beautiful hair, inserting a cord into one of the access ports. Lifting a hand, he did the same to himself, pausing to run fingers through his own short, scruffy, purple hair. With both cables in place he turned the machine on, watching diagnostics run on the two of them before revealing the operating system he was looking for.

A wave of compulsion swept through him then, demanding obedience, demanding non-interference, demanding so many things ... Right on time. He fought it, clinging to the table as if it were a life raft, cheek pressed against the reploid's red armor.

[Kill him, kill them, make the way clear for master. Hands to yourself, keep away from the master's work. Kill him. Stay away. Kill him. Perform to perfection. Kill him.]

But I'm doing this to kill him, to annihilate them all ... to make it perfect, to make me perfect ... so I can kill them all ... the master will never have to know ... never ... I'll kill him ... make everything perfect ... he thought at it with a whimper, rubbing his cheek against the angular surface of the reploid. It wouldn't control him this time, Forte would not allow it to.

And it was gone.

As quickly as it had come it had vanished, whether prey to the control synapses that had burned out long ago or to his argument, he didn't care. It was gone and that was all he needed to know. Pushing himself up he jammed a finger on the start button before it could stop him, before anyone could.

The screen flashed, showing two sets of programming and memory, like crystallized strands of human DNA, sliding slowly across the panel. A heat slid into his mind, seeking and sifting. There is was. One memory, and then another, playing tag to the first. With the second came a third and a forth, flowing in clumps and groups and then a sweeping mass, taking programming and feelings with it, sweeping up anything and everything else that was Forte, copying it into the red reploid who lay so quietly and unsuspecting.

"Dr. Light will fix you right up! So don't worry about a thing. I've got your back covered." A smile, the sweetest eyes.

"Wh-why are you doing this? We helped you!!! How could you -- ?" Confusion, anger.

"Don't be such a fool. I wanted you to think I was your friend." Smirk. "It makes your death all the much sweeter."

"I won't fight you. Don't force me to."

Mocking. "Oh, how sweet, first you won't fight, then you want to hurt me. Make up your mind, you yutz or didn't your precious Dr. Light program you any brains?"

"Forte, don't."


"Why are you defying me?"

"Why are you making more robots? Aren't I good enough for you?" Sneer.

"I don't want to fight you."

"Don't? Don't? What made you think you had a choice? Die!!!"

"I challenge you to mortal combat! Face me, you coward."

"I will kill him. I must kill him. I'll show them all that I'm the strongest. I'm the perfect one, not that stupid little blueberry bastard."

As suddenly as it started, the pull stopped, leaving a stillness in his mind. There was nothing left to copy. Fumbling a little, he pulled the cable out, letting it fall as he stared at the sleeping red reploid. So peaceful. Not a single hair disturbed in the transfer, the wave leaving no ripple to mark it's passing. Forte smiled. He was beautiful.

Reaching out, he slid a finger down the smooth cheek to stroke the lips with a thumb. It would work, he just knew it would. The old geezer wouldn't be able to upstage him now. This new machine was as much Forte as Forte himself was. A piece of himself preserved forever. If I never kill him, you will. If I never succeed, you will. If I die, you will survive. Bending, he gently placed a kiss on the reploid's lips, moving lightly across the still curves. A human affection, but it felt ... right. He would have his revenge. One way or the other. You will be perfect.


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